The Used & Pierce The Veil: Creative Control Tour
The Used & Pierce The Veil: Creative Control Tour
Thursday | June 15, 2023
Lobby Doors: 4:30 pm | Showtime: 6:30 pm
$55.50 + Fees General Admission Standing
For Luxury Seating options, click HERE
With Special Guest: Don Braco, girlfriends
$1 of every ticket goes to Living The Dream Foundation to help make dreams come true for children and young adults living with life-threatening illnesses.
About The Used:
Painful and perverse, intimate and obnoxious, aggressively heavy and irresistibly catchy,
confusingly profound and primitively pedestrian – The Used transform songs into anthems.
The reckless honesty and unrelenting dedication that saw The Used kick down doors at radio
and MTV, for a generation of disenfranchised post-hardcore provocateurs, persists today.
It’s newly remade with a sly shimmer that never sacrifices the band’s enchanting anarchy or
Heartwork, the band’s eighth studio album, arrives with the unbound spirit of the pair of
platinum albums that first introduced The Used to the world, mixed with the dramatic flair of
their gold-certified third. The emotion, sincerity, and vulnerability found on The Used (2002)
and In Love and Death (2004) is more urgent and insistent than ever on Heartwork, a diverse
16-song offering filled with double entendre upon triple entendre. It traverses a thematic gamut
of self-examination, hyper-literate exploration, political pyromania, and keenly self-aware yet
The charged manic energy of Heartwork will ring familiar to the multitudes who have seen
The Used live, whether back in the day on Ozzfest, Warped Tour or Linkin Park’s Projekt
Revolution; on their sold-out coheadlining tour with Taking Back Sunday; or headlining Taste
Of Chaos with support from My Chemical Romance, Rise Against, Killswitch Engage, and
Songs like “Blow Me,” “Cathedral Bell,” and “Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton” take
their place alongside some of the best-known jams to emerge from the frenetic “screamo”
world, anthems that conquered hearts and minds and Active Rock. “The Bird and the Worm,”
“The Taste of Ink,” “All That I’ve Got,” “I Caught Fire,” and “Blood On My Hands” are beloved
for their raw emotion, authentic defiance, and inviting empathy, all of which etched them into
the spiritual DNA of a legion of likeminded listeners across the globe. As Kerrang! points out,
The Used are hugely important trailblazers for the scene that gave us My Chemical Romance
and Fall Out Boy.
Heartwork reunites the band with John Feldmann (Panic! At The Disco, blink-182, 5 Seconds
Of Summer), who became an early champion for The Used when the then-unsigned act
tossed a demo onstage during a Goldfinger gig. He went on to produce the majority of their
The Canyon (2017), an indulgent meditation on suicide and loss, was captured live-to-tape
by Ross Robinson (Slipknot, At The Drive-In). The band calls the experience a “blessing” and
a “gift,” but a painful exorcism they are happy to have survived. As much as The Canyon
challenged both band and audience, by putting their art to the test, Heartwork stands in
brilliant contrast. No less moving or angry, it’s nevertheless encased in warmth, curiosity,
iconoclasm, and joyous lack of restraint.
The original incarnation of The Used was born from the conservative isolation, myopic
boredom, and restless angst of their crucial formative years, spent some 45 miles from Salt
Lake City in Orem, Utah. The inspiration Bert McCracken found in a box full of CDs by Sunny
Day Real Estate, Converge, Ink & Dagger, and Texas Is The Reason was as instructive in the
band’s formation as the feelings of alienation and disillusion he shared with the others, like
the band’s bassist, Jepha. As Jepha has pointed out to the press, The Used wrote those
important early albums 100 percent for themselves. It was doubly rewarding to see how much
they would come to mean to people.
The Used were never afraid to embrace radio or MTV, turning punk convention on its head.
But the way they aligned with the major label machine early on, with incendiary appearances
on schlock like TRL Spanking New Band Week, put them in front of kids around the globe
who felt the same as the band, about young adulthood and the increasingly fractious world
The subcultural impact of The Used (2002) and In Love and Death (2004) can’t be overstated.
As much as the industry can exploit bands, The Used smartly exploited the system in turn.
Even Maybe Memories, a collection of odds and ends released in 2003, went platinum.
Similarly, the group never shied away from “emo,” jettisoning the word’s baggage to embrace
“Pretty Handsome Awkward” and “The Bird and the Worm” helped ensure Lies for the Liars
(2007) was another smash. Artwork (2009) featured their dirtiest, nosiest and most vicious
songs to that point, without jettisoning the pop-infused sensibility of their earlier work. Prior
to The Canyon, it was the band’s only album that didn’t involve Feldmann, stretching back to
when McCracken tossed that demo onto the stage as the producer performed with his own
band. Feldmann returned for Vulnerable (2012) and Imaginary Enemy (2014), which balanced
the intensity of the self-produced The Ocean of the Sky EP (2013) with the pristine polish of
the early albums.
Heartwork is layered and urgent, dense and desperate, and altogether eager to inspire.
Raucous adrenaline, bigger choruses, more than a splash of reckless explosiveness, all
through a modern laptop hip-hop lens built for Spotify playlists – that’s just a sampling of
what The Used have to offer in 2020. No two songs sound alike, as no stone is left unturned
in pursuit of a musical muse that somehow, defiantly, never strays from being The Used.
Joey Bradford technically made his official recorded debut with The Used on the band’s Record
Store Day 2019 EP, Live from Maida Vale, but truly comes into his own all over Heartwork.
His guitars bounce between muscular and angular, between riffs and jangly atmosphere.
Dan Whitesides, rhythmic backbone since 2006, locks his drumming in with Jeph’s basslines
like never before. Electronic flourishes enhance, but never overpower, the rock, as it’s all
strung together by bigger than ever vocals hooks from their singer, who soars with irresistible
Bert McCracken can quote Hamlet as readily as he might Stephen King. The energetic and
thoughtful singer’s much publicized rehab stint a decade ago redirected his obsessions
toward the written word and its greater connection to the world, from 18th Century Scottish
enlightenment figure Adam Smith, to socialist revolutionary Karl Marx, to author and philosopher
Heartwork namechecks three of McCracken’s favorite works of literature, beginning with
“Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton,” inspired as much by the 1667 English epic as the
context within which it was written. “Gravity’s Rainbow” is named for the singer’s favorite book
ever, the 1973 novel by the famously dense, complex, and profound Thomas Pynchon. “1984
(infinite jest)” blends Orwell with David Foster Wallace; Infinite Jest shares several recurring
themes with The Used: depression, addiction; corporate oligarchy. (Wallace, sadly, committed
suicide in 2008.)
In addition to the literary figures woven throughout the record, the album features a number
of formidable flesh-and-blood musical guests. These are folks who’ve appeared alongside
The Used on festival and touring bills and who share the band’s affinity for working with John
Feldmann. Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333) on “Blow Me”; Mark Hoppus (blink-182) on “The
Lighthouse”; Travis Barker (blink-182) on “Obvious Blasé”; and Caleb Shomo (Beartooth) on
The honesty, integrity, and freedom of expression championed by The Used endures,
maintaining bonds that have outlasted numerous trends, and evolutions in the way music is
consumed. It was never about being “celebrities” or “the biggest band ever” or drowning in
oceans of adulation. The Used resist any form of corruption in their art and dominate on any
Boredom, complacency, and entitlement remain in the cross hairs of The Used.
This music is a weapon.
About Pierce The Veil: